A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Old Mixup

I get it.

In the fast-paced, gotta-have-it-first world that we live in, you want to be the first to have something.  Blah, blah, blah, microwaves, twitter, short attention spans.

It makes sense that card companies, in their earnest to be the first to have "that" card of the player in the new uniform, resort to using photoshop.

Seems like it's cheating a little bit, but there are whole sets (Bowman) that lean heavily on their trickery to get people to pounce on cards of players who haven't sniffed the big leagues yet.

This post, however, is most (if not all) of the Padres cards I have that are "on the fence".  Cards that could be claimed by the Padres or one of the other 29 teams.

Like the card of Padres center fielder Mike Cameron in a throwback Mets jersey, they're a little mixed up.

Three "Mets" cards in a row.  I motioned to scroll over to baseball-reference.com to see if Wally Whitehurst and Tony Fernandez were traded for each other, but judging by the Traded 10-26-92 signage under the nameplate, I'll go ahead and assume so.  I really liked Wally Whitehurst during his Padres days, but for Tony Fernandez?  Ouch.

Here's some with different uniforms on, but the design claims that they're Padres.  Chris Young was named as the Comeback Player of the Year by Sporting News.  That's pretty rad.  And there's Reggie Sanders, wearing more red on his uniform than any Padres in recent history (though they did have it on their Pacific Coast League uniforms in the 50s, I think.

Were it not for the faint glimpse of the first two letters on his jersey, this Robert Fick card could pass for a Nationals card, like it says in the bottom corner.  But this Padre fan knows better.  Man, if you just take a glimpse at his last name while flipping through binder pages, it sure doesn't look like a word that you would want to use on the front of a card.

This makes absolutely no sense to me.  The Padres acquired Adrian Gonzalez from the Rangers before the 2006 season.  He actually came over with Chris Young.  Talk about a rip off!  One of the few times the Padres have "won" a trade.  But back to this card.  Why do we have an image of Gonzo's new team while the card still says he plays for his old team?

This won't be the last Adrian mix up we see in this post.

While I love the Cameron card at the top, I think I'd have to say that these are my favorite "mix up" cards.  When Kevin Brown didn't resign with the Padres after their '98 World Series appearance, I was pretty mad at him, especially because he signed with the Dodgers.  I decided that he was a jerk, and from what I've read, I might not be too far off on that judgement.  However, as an adult, I can look back and appreciate what he did for the '98 Padres, easily the best team in the history of the franchise.  I didn't have cable as a kid, but instead listened to all the games on the radio.  Going back on YouTube to watch him pitch in Game 2 of the NLCS, the dude was lights out.

Rickey Henderson is an amazing athlete.  That he was able to play at the level that he did for so long is incredible.  I'm fortunate that he had a couple of stints with the Padres.  I kind of forget that he bounced around towards the end of his career, and if it weren't for this card, would've never remembered that he played for the Mariners.

This is, perhaps, the king of "mix up" cards, since Adrian Gonzalez has never even played for the Brewers.  This is instead, a case of Topps laziness/oversight, and probably coupled with the fact that the Padres have uniforms that are basically identical to the Brewers.  What's frustrating is that the Brewers and Padres had some great looking uniforms in the 80s, but they now are two of the most boring in all sports.  If I had a dollar for every time I came across a Brewers card that was labeled "Padres" in an eBay search… well, I'd have a wallet full of dollar bills.  It doesn't happen with any other team.

I know that some collectors feel conflicted about cards of their team that "aren't really their team's cards", but I can't get enough of these.  While flipping through my Miscellaneous Padres binders, it gives me a little variety, which is fun (though, to be honest, the range of uniform colors for the Padres from the 70s-present is enough of a variety on their own).


  1. That Heritage Gonzo is actually one of those gimmicky SPs Topps feels the need to make from time to time.


    The latter Gonzo is a flat-out screw-up by Topps. I remember going nuts trying to track a copy of that one down when they first came out.

  2. Aw, man! I had been meaning to do a post like this, haha... When I saw the Rickey one for the first time, I wondered why they didn't just use a picture from his first Padres stint. I guess maybe they already had the card set up and only had time to correct the graphics... The second Gonzalez reminds me of one around that time that was the complete opposite: A Brewers player with no Padres ties (Ben Sheets) on a card saying he was with the Padres.

  3. FWIW, the Mets sent D.J. Dozier and Raul Casanova along with Whitehurst...

    1. That trade happened 22 years ago today!

  4. Conflicted? Ugh. More like disgusted. If there's a new addition to my favorite team I'm never happy until I have a card of the player in the correct jersey. Poorly photoshopped ones don't count either.

    1. I'm with P-town Tom. I'll collect them because I'll collect anything Padres... but I can't lie... they make my head hurt when I stumble across them.